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Author Topic: Drilling perspex sheet  (Read 1285 times)

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Offline dannyboy

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Drilling perspex sheet
« on: May 25, 2016, 09:53:00 pm »
I am in the process of constructing a control panel and want to cover the top in perspex. As long as it is done reasonably slowly, I am presuming that it is okay to drill the fixing holes using an ordinary drill bit  ???. Can anyone who has fixed perspex in this way confirm that I am correct in my thinking? Many thanks.  :beers:
David.
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Offline Farmer chap

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 10:02:38 pm »
Hi,

Yes perfectly ok to drill with a sharp twist drill.

Best to use a small pilot drill first and don't force it through and maybe support the perspex.

Ian

Offline Sprintex

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 10:06:03 pm »
I drilled mine using a wood bit as it scribes a circle rather than putting outward pressure on the material
 


:thumbsup:


Paul

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 10:10:02 pm »
Ian and Paul  :thankyousign: (Handy tip that Paul - what I mean is, what you said, not the picture of the drill tip  :)).
David.
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Online Zogbert Splod

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 10:15:24 pm »
Don't drill so fast that you melt the plastic. The more blunt the bit, the slower you must go. COMPLETELY support the material and drill small hole first and come up in steps to the size you need. Don't rush and you will get a good result.
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Offline austinbob

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 10:22:05 pm »
Next time you need clear plastic better to use polycarbonate rather than perspex. Much easier to drill and machine.
 :beers:
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Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2016, 10:24:36 pm »
When I purchased my 5mm thickness perspex I was told to make sure it was well supported before drilling, drill slowly with an HSS bit, put some masking tape down first and to allow 10% extra on the hole size as perspex can expand in very hot weather.
I sourced mine at a boatyard who do window conversions and the owner uses his product on his own model railway. I just haven't got a round tuit yet as the timing isn't right construction wise.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 10:29:22 pm »
better to use polycarbonate rather than perspex


I only put perspex cos I can't spell polycarbonate  :). Seriously, it is a piece I have left over from somewhere and I do not know if it is perspex or polycarbonate, but I appreciate all the replies.  :beers:
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.

Offline NinOz

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 05:16:40 am »
Advice from the tradesmen at my former work ( they did a fair bit of perspex and melamine cutting, drilling and engraving : making HV control booth panels mostly) was to use a correct perspex drill but if using a metal drill make sure it is dull as a fresh sharp drill can grab and crack the perspex, especially if using a hand held drill .  Slow feed rate and, if thick, pause to cool and clear the cut plastic.  A drill press is best.

http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/cutting_and_drilling_acrylic.htm
http://www.wikihow.com/Drill-Plexiglass
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Online Bealman

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2016, 06:58:07 am »
I've always reckoned that perspex is notoriously difficult to work with. Indeed, a workmate of mine sliced his hand very badly cutting the stuff.

I needed a piece for an Arduino project I'm currently working on, and a mate gave me an old piece that was too big. I managed to cut it to size by scoring both sides with a Stanley knife, and then snapping bits off with long nose pliers. I was then able to file it smooth.

Basically I think the trick to working with perspex is to take your time and use care.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 10:37:49 am by Bealman »
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Offline Geoff

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2016, 10:14:38 am »
I have worked with perspex for a number of years now and there are different types, some are brittle and some are more forgiving, I have found that drilling a pilot hole with a small drill bit first ie 3mm to start is the way to go, I then use the drill size I need then drill half way with that and turn the perspex over and drill through this stops any splits occurring.

You do need to fasten the perspex down if its a not a big piece as it can attach its self to the drill bit while drilling and you end up with a windmill and we do not want that.

Perspex can melt so take your time and if you see this happening then your drill bit is either to blunt or you are running at a to faster speed.

Hope that is some help.
Geoff

Offline Takamine

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 04:48:56 pm »
Hi all
Don't mean to hijack the post but had my share of fun this weekend with perspex for a miming panel. Then I found a step drill and it makes it so easy - thanks to youtube. Just drill the hole - slight pressure and medium speed and cuts clean every time.

Got a set on the web  - not overly expensive

Here's a before and after




The double circles are using step drill - the others are all normal HSS drill. You can see the shatter marks even on the 2.8mm led holes and the big crack speaks for itself - so start again........

Offline Takamine

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2018, 04:53:46 pm »
And here is the drill

BR
Chris


Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2018, 08:37:26 pm »
For drilling this sort of stuff I always ensure my drill press is on its slowest speed, and work my way up through drill sizes applying as little pressure as possible and letting the bit do the work.  Support the workpiece with scrap wood.  I've not tried a step drill bit but worth considering.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline The Q

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Re: Drilling perspex sheet
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2018, 08:24:28 am »
You are better off using drill bits specifically ground for drilling acrylic..

https://www.theplasticman.co.uk/products/tools-drill-bits-etc.html

they are much less likely to "grab" the plastic and cause chips and splitting..

 there are much cheaper suppliers around, that was just the first site I came across with them..

found  cheap ones on EBAY
https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=drill+bits+for+plastic&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=drill+bits+for+plastic+slow+spiral+drill&_sacat=0
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 09:17:06 am by The Q »

 

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